United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc announced its agreement with the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat to provide up to $6.0 billion financing for eligible Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) over the next three years. This move is poised to significantly enhance economic growth across Africa.
The disclosure was made by UBA’s management during the official opening of the 37th Lagos International Trade Fair (LIFT) 2023, organized by the Lagos State Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) under the theme ‘Navigating Economic Challenges, Forging a Path to Prosperity’ in Lagos.
UBA finalized the agreement with AfCFTA during the 30th Afreximbank Annual Meeting in Accra, Ghana, recently, demonstrating its dedication to supporting SMEs in Nigeria and across Africa for substantial economic contributions.
Muyiwa Akinyemi, UBA’s Deputy Managing Director, highlighted the bank’s unwavering commitment to the success of SMEs across the continent, emphasizing the significance of the Lagos Trade Fair, which has been a pivotal trade event in Africa for 135 years. He stressed UBA’s continual support as the headline sponsor for a decade and offered expert advice empowering SMEs to achieve global success.
Recognizing the crucial role played by SMEs in driving economies worldwide, Akinyemi emphasized UBA’s consistent support for the fair and its efforts in aiding businesses’ success stories emerging from the event.
Prince Ayewoh, UBA’s Group Head of Retail Products and Sales, echoed the importance of SMEs in contributing significantly to GDP and employment while underscoring the need to boost their role in exports and international investment. Ayewoh emphasized UBA’s commitment to fostering partnerships that benefit the business environment and economies in the regions where the bank operates.
The bank sees the Lagos Trade Fair as an invaluable platform for both domestic and international exhibitors to promote their businesses, conduct product launches, explore sales opportunities, and foster international trade partnerships, reflecting UBA’s dedication to driving economic growth and trade relations across borders.